Today’s piece isn’t a new model, but its presence is due to a combination of serendipity and my fondness for jump hours. Seen during my visit to Define Watches in Brisbane, this is the Benzinger Zeitsprung. The model name ‘Zeitsprung’ loosely translates to a ‘time leap’ – a reference to the use of a jump hour display format.
This somewhat niche but very well-regarded German brand, named after its creator Jochen Benzinger, is known for its skeletonised pieces and for how it uses/ reworks old movements into new watches. In this instance, the Zeitsprung is based on a c.1970 vintage Kasper 1415 manual movement. Interestingly, Kasper & Co., which was founded in 1911, also hailed from Pforzheim, the home of Beinzinger. They started making watch parts, diversified into movements in 1932 and in 1939, registered a trademark and started producing not just movements and cases but also watches. Their last known watches were from about the period of the movement used in this jump hour.
Against the backdrop of a hand-guillochéd ivory dial is the jump hour display at 12 o’clock, minute display at (a high) 6 o’clock and a centre seconds hand. This is a one off piece in a 40mm stainless steel case, although there is another one with the same movement in a red gold case. As mentioned, Benzinger is known not just for using old movements, but for reworking them. In this instance, it has been skeletonised, as you can see below (ignore the strap…).
With the large expanse of empty dial allowing the guilloché work to be the focus, the jump display windows are nicely large and legible, and the symmetry and balance of the text and dsipalys will no doubt appeal to those who like their watch dials uniformly balanced. The less expensive of the two available at Define Watches, this stainless steel piece will set you back AUD $12,000 incl. GST. For those who are looking for a small/ independent brand that is more classically designed, Benzinger is worth considering, and for those who like alternate time displays and want something that no-one else will have, this is a piece worth considering.